The Bible Edge
Random Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature II
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
For what would you suffer the loss of all things? In other words, what is more important to you than all that you have? Your spouse, house, financial security, time, health? Anything? These are sobering questions. They will take time to consider. Arriving at their answers will not be easy.
In the Bible there are two major personalities that suffered the loss of all things. One was Paul, the man who wrote today’s words. His testimony was one of complete and total sacrifice of all he had to serve the Lord. If he had money, he lost it for he himself had to make tents to make ends meet. He lost friends, position, prestige, even his health (remember that thorn in his flesh). He lost many things, but he also gained many things. Spiritual things, eternal things, and even unto today he is well known for his service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Job also suffered the loss of all things. Wherein Paul chose the losing of all, this was thrust upon Job. In one day, he lost his flocks, servants, and all ten of his children. He almost lost his wife to foolish speaking, but took time to teach and encourage her in their loss. On another day soon after losing his wealth and his children, he lost his health and the respect of his friends. By the end of his story, God replaced all that he had…double!
To one man, Job, God gave all physical things back; to another man, Paul, God gave greater riches that that which he had, He gave that apostle spiritual riches that few will ever obtain. Both lost everything but both received back more than they lost.
While writing these words, I recall a pioneer missionary named Ralph McCoy to old Mexico. He lost everything by giving it all to go to Mexico where he forged out a ministry that continues today. Three generations later, his work continues through his family. I think of preachers throughout the years that gladly walked away from riches, security, and position to simply serve the Lord by serving sinners. I think of missionaries I personally know that are out there on the field, having left all the comforts of home to go into the unknown regions of our world serving the Lord to the glory of God.
Do not think for a moment that only a few would suffer the loss of all things for the Lord. There are thousands, and more no doubt. They are champions for Christ, modern day heroes of the faith. If you know someone like this, let them know of your appreciation. Better yet, ask yourself. Would I willingly suffer the loss of all in trade for the excellency of the knowledge of the Lord? For the last few moments, you suffered the loss of time, in this you’ve made a good start.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.